Forward Jakub Vrana, defenseman Radko Gudas, center Nic Dowd, defenseman Nick Jensen, forward Travis Boyd, and forward Richard Panik all joined the Washington Capitals’ informal skates on Friday, three days before training camp kicks off for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 10, 2020
Vrana, who set career-highs in goals (25) and points (52) in 69 games this season; Gudas, who’s +15 rating ranked third among all Capitals’ players; and Panik, who’s +16 rating led all Capitals forwards and five assists after the trade deadline led the team, all had to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from Europe. Gudas was scratched for six of the team’s final 14 games.
Jensen, who’s +8 rating tied Panik for the team lead while his four assists equaled his output prior to that point after February 9; Dowd, who recorded two goals and three points in the Capitals’ final win in the regular season over the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 6; and Boyd, who recorded three goals, 10 points, and a +9 rating in 24 games this season all returned from Minnesota.
With training camp on the horizon, many players have been trickling into town. Four prospects reported to MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Thursday and center Nicklas Backstrom was among more players to return earlier this week.
The Capitals will travel to Toronto for the final week of training camp on Sunday, July 26 and play one exhibition game before starting a three-game round-robin against the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Philadelphia Flyers to determine tournament seeding while eight other Eastern Conference teams will participate in a best-of-five qualifying round series. The Capitals escaped the qualifying round by finishing with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference (41-20-8) before play paused on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Harrison Brown